Happy Birthday Jim Aylesworth - February 21
Jim Aylesworth learned what makes a great picture book from the children he encountered during his 25 years as a teacher. "Rhythm, rhyme, and repetition are three of the elements that young children like best in their books. I learned that this is true by reading hundreds and hundreds of books out loud to my students." (Ayles.com). His biography page on his website shares more about the influence his students had on his writing. "Their enjoyment of his stories encouraged him to persist in pursuing his dream of being a children's book writer. It was in the classroom that he realized the power of books." He also credits his students with helping him live up to his own words, "Never give up." It was the children in Jim Aylesworth's life that lead him to a successful career of publishing over 30 books for children.
The Full Belly Bowl. It is a story of an older man that receives a bowl as a gift. He is given a warning to use it wisely, pour it out when finished, and store it upside down when not in use. The man learns that it is a magic bowl when he uses it to hold his stew. The bowl remained full even as he ate more and more. Then one morning, the man awakes to a house full of spiders and realizes that he left the bowl out all night for the spiders to crawl in. He man learns that the bowl is able to multiply anything that he places in and removes -- strawberries, buttons, and even coins!
Jim Aylesworth said, "If my books somehow inspire a teacher to do an extension lesson, that would please me...Writing children's books is my way of being the teacher beyond the walls of my classroom for children that I may never know." (Patricia Newman). My children were so engaged during the reading of The Full Belly Bowl that I was inspired to do an extension activity. We ventured to make our own papier mache Full Belly Bowls.
I researched many blogs on Pinterest on how to make papier mache bowls. I learned to cover a bowl with plastic wrap to use as a mold, and then apply the papier mache. There were many blogs that suggested covering the outside of your bowl and many others that said cover the inside. We tried both and found that we preferred to cover the outside of the bowl as it was easier to apply the paper strips and had a quicker drying time.
|To make our paste we boiled 5 parts water and 1 part flour for three minutes and let it cool (DTLK kids). While it was cooling we tore strips of newspaper 1-2 inches wide. Also, we made sure plastic wrap was secure. We did use tape in a few places to keep the plastic wrap from coming off the bowl.|
|My children then dunked the newspaper strips in the paste, removed the excess, and applied the paste-coated strips to the plastic wrapped side of the bowl. We did 4 layers of strips on top of the plastic wrap covered bowl.|
There are so many opportunities for activities with books by Jim Aylesworth. Please share your thoughts on a favorite book or activity idea.
Here is a photo of the Full Belly Bowl full of the chocolate hearts! Notice my daughter's note informing her great-grandparents that it is indeed a "magic bowl"!
1. Jim Aylesworth's website + Click on a book cover to find Classroom Connections
2. Who Wrote That? Featuring Jim Aylesworth - Patricia Newman
3. Text Interview - TitleTales, Ayles.com
4. Birthday Source